The inside track at Belmont and Churchill Downs

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TwinSpires Staff

May 24th, 2015

by Chad Summers, Bruno De Julio and Brandon Stauble

Belmont Competitors were out in force today but not so fast, not ready to hand trophy over yet ....

Over the last 30 years of close but no cigars we've always been quick to anoint the next triple crown winner following Preakness victory, but for every Smarty Jones, there is a Birdstone & for every California Chrome, there is a Tonalist.
Fittingly, on the day that saw American Pharoah gallop for the first time since Preakness Saturday, Belmont Park was a hot bed of activity with the "locals" putting in some serious drills this morning.
Racingwithbruno's Chad Summers, @horsesummers on twitter, was there for us as he is every morning at Belmont Park's main and training track:
Chad's thoughts: The morning started with Carpe Diem & Madefromlucky hailing from barn of trainer Todd Pletcher, and should be noted work was first company work in some time for 'Diem. Jockey John Velazquez aboard Carpe Diem was best here, and seemed to be going the easier of the pair. However, not much should be read into Madefromlucky getting 'outworked' as other people may read into it, but he is a lazy work horse (ala Tonalist) and got plenty in last race to be ready for Belmont Stakes 147.

Bruno's thoughts: I only want to add that Madefromlucky is not a speed horse, Carpe Diem is and to go 59 flat, Madefromlucky was made to use speed he doesn't have in his running style. My gut feeling and experience tells me Madefromlucky should get the 4 star work for keeping up. This is a Charlie Whittingham type of work. Like what I feel I am reading into Madefromlucky.
Chad: Following the renovation break, witnesed a spirited work from Mubtaahij who gallops every morning with a purpose with his 1/4 sheet saddle pad bearing the South African flag. Fitness certainly won't be a question for him at all.

Bruno: I want to see him in two weeks, De Kock may be doing too much here. Belmont is a tough track to handle and to keep up this pace with a lightly made horse..
Chad : As Mubtaahij finished his paces we were met by the team of Materiality & Stanford for team Pletcher. Materiality really caught our eye here as this pair finished with a lot of enthusiasm and galloped out better than earlier Pletcher team. This was an important work for Materiality to see how he exited Kentucky Derby after really getting physically beat up in the "Run for the Roses" and it appears he is just fine, and we can see why it took Pletcher such a long time to decide on entering the Preakness or not and if he can get stronger over next two weeks should poise a definite threat to Pharoah's run to history.

Bruno: Materiality impressed with ears flicking on the turn like he had a lot of run, here is another situation of a real speedster type in Stanford, who acts like a one turn speed horse with Pletcher with a potential ten furlongs type in Materiality. The latter has always been knocked for being beaten in works in morning, but he simply clocks the other horse and is not interested in competition in works. Materiality has a sense of inner confidence, he knows difference between morning and afternoon. He galloped out well. If you are nit picking about who's head was in front you are not paying attention how well and relaxed Materiality was, that's what you want to see, especially how he galloped out.
Chad: Not to be lost in the shuffle was Kiaran McLaughlin's Frosted, he worked in company with Met Mile prospect Tamarkuz in a very easy move here. Both riders not asking their mounts for any run, pure maintenance move, stretching their legs. As Kentucky Derby was just 20 days ago, we were not expecting McLaughlin to do to much.

Bruno: I had a different take as Frosted had ears pinned all the way around and seemed to be annoyed with Tamarkuz. Frosted hasn't been the easiest horse to read in the morning. He can be a bit odd, or maybe just being a Tapit. I just Tamarkuz was dominating Frosted here.


Chad: While most of the action took place on Belmont's Main Track, there was some important moves just behind "Big Sandy" on the training track:

Pletcher sent out impressive N2X 3yo filly Curalina (possible for Acorn Stakes) in a team drill with undefeated three-year-old colt Competitive Edge. 'Edge,inside, really caught our eye. The most impressive workers on the training track in this set. Competitive Edge could wind up in either Woody Stephens, Met Mile or possibly the Belmont Stakes. 'Edge is extremely unlikely but if he did enter it would change the entire complexion of the race.

Bruno: I believe Pletcher has enough artillery in the Belmont and Competitive Edge will run in either the Woody Stephens or the Met Mile.

Meanwhile our own Brandon Stauble (@bstaubs22 on twitter) caught a few horses he liked at Churchill Downs we may see on Belmont Stakes day:

Lord Nelson impressed Brandon in  solo drill on May 20 with a last 1/4 in 23.2 stretching out really well to wire. Galloped out in 59.6 and 113.8 in effortless manner, Brandon oved the way he moved.

Bayern, seems to have rebounded from flop on Derby day, responded here in huge gate move also on May 20. Never asked, rattled off 12's while galloping out in 125.2 and 138.8. Bayern crushed them at Belmont last year around one turn and that propelled him to a fabulous last six month of 2014.
Promise Me Silver in solo drill on May 22. Looked great finishing up in 101.2. She was getting better as the work went further, galloping out huge in 126.2 and 143.2.

Also on May 22, Noble Bird  worked with Dynamic Sky and crushed it here, last 1/4 in 23.4 taking off down the lane, huge out in 111.8, 124.8 and 140.6 for Mark and Norman Casse.

Sky Captain also for Casse on May 22, worked with Belmont hopeful Conquest Curlinate, Captain took the lead around the turn and was waiting on Curlinate who was under a drive to keep pace, Captain finished up in 100 flat, going out in 112.8 and 126.6. 'Curlinate got the same time given to Captain but Captain was much the best

Finally, American Pharoah looked as good as he could look according to Brandon. like Baffert told me the other day, "Pharoah moves great over it'' and that's why Bob is at Churchill Downs, the horse comes first.

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